Dean Barry made his UFC debut last night in Las Vegas. However, the fight was marred with controversy as he was disqualified in the first round for an eye-poke on his opponent.
Barry was fighting on the preliminary card against journeyman Mike Jackson, but he would have been disappointed with the way things ended having dominated the early stages.
The Irishman was warned for a pair of low blows early in the opening round, with the pair then going to the ground. As they moved back to the feet, it appeared as though Barry finger had made contact with Jackson's eye.
After much deliberation, the referee ruled that the eye-poke was enough to disqualify the Dubliner.
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) April 23, 2022
While Barry will be kicking himself for bringing on this situation, some have argued that Jackson could have continued to fight and only exaggerated the eye-poke to win a fight he was losing badly at that point.
Barry eluded to this in an Instagram post following the fight, but also apologised to Jackson in a separate post.
Had a lot of fun out there and dominated the fight, I felt a bit all over the place at first with the nerves but I got to experience something most only dream of and I’m only doing MMA 4 years!
Sorry Mike for the accidental eye poke it wasn’t one bit intentional at all brother and wish you well. I’m feeling good just a little upset and frustrated at most it should of been a no contest but this happens. Again my apologies for the eye poke never meant it to happen I was seconds away from finishing the fight.
On to the next one time for my right weight division. I got the UFC jitters out of the way now and I’m excited to get out again.
In the above post Barry is humble and apologetic to his opponent, but in a previous post he did accuse Jackson of “taking the easy way out”.
It is difficult to tell which fighter was in the right, although Barry could looked well on his way to winning the fight were it not for this incident.
Given the circumstances of the loss, Barry will likely be given another shot in the UFC.